Non-Sequitur #32: I Didn’t Come To Bring You Down

Joan Jett! Yeah...Joan Jett.

So, I’m walking home the other day and I pass a group of mostly young clean cut folks. They were all in similar T-Shirts and shorts. The  man who seemed to be the leader was maybe about 30-ish. They all appeared to be so happy to be outside and walking around together, I wondered if maybe they were apart of a church or something. I went into a McDonald’s and as I was walking to the door, I saw a security guard throwing out a beggar. I placed my order and waited for my food. Who should come in after not too long? You guessed it…the happy group along with the beggar. The leader made a point to go up to the guard and tell him that the beggar was with their group and that the beggar wasn’t going to ask for change and that everything was going to be cool. I could tell that  the guard didn’t want to let the beggar back in the building, but couldn’t do anything about it. While waiting, I overheard them say they that were indeed from some out of town church group. I was like, “Heh, the church folks challenged authority and won by being nice to somebody.” Fight the Power!

Random “El” Story: A few days before that, I sat next to an old man riding home on the “El”. He wasn’t neccessarily drunk, but I could tell he was a drinker. He told me that he was riding the El because he was trying to kill time until his wife left home to go to work. They’d been arguing lately and he was trying to avoid her. The reason they’d been arguing is that he’s 60-something and she wanted him to stop getting high, but he wanted to keep doing what he does. Geez, man…how terrible it must be to have a wife that doesn’t want you to die from narcotics abuse. (sarcasm)

Random Beer Purchase: I don’t normally drink Guinness beer, but a couple of days ago a bought a pack. I opened a can and took a hearty swig and I’m like, “What the f**k is this little ball doing in there?!”  I guess Guinness is brewed slightly different than other brews and there’s nitrus or something in the ball to help the beer keep a hearty head when the can is opened. So…there’s that.

Composer Henry Mancini. Whether you know it or not, you’ve heard his songs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRoq9MzMgoU&feature=fvsr and ESPECIALLY this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wK-b5PLhrEI&feature=related

A couple of comics, I guess…

Batman Inc #7: I enjoyed this comic more than I thought I would. Batman is still recruiting his international army for the upcoming battle against the Leviathan. In this issue  he meets The Man of Bats. At first I was afraid that Grant Morrison might go for some sort of Native American noble savage stereotype, but gladly that’s not quite the direction he went for this story. The story does address the poverty that’s prevalent in many Native American communities. The art is by Chris Burnham, kinda Frank Quietly-ish. Also, I’m pretty sure the cartoon on the TV the baby is watching is Go Go Gophers from the early 60’s (?). Nice enough issue. I’m still on board.

Fear Itself #4: *SPOILER*  Ok, I bought the first issue because of Stuart Immonen’s art, but I haven’t been following it. The writing is by Matt Fraction. I got this one because I couldn’t believe that they’d actually kill Bucky right after killing Ultimate Peter Parker. I was thinking, Buck’s probably just in a coma or something. Well, I know there’s still a few issues left in the story plus whatever’s going on in the main Cap title, but Buck does appear to be dead. I’m slightly pissed. Not just cuz I was starting to like Bucky, but because it’s such a cliche! It’s been done so many times before, “hero-reclaims-the mantle-after-his replacement-dies.”  It’s been done before in Captain America comics!! I know it’s superheroes, it’s genre entertainment, but geez…can you at least try to make feel not so stale? Stuart’s art is great.

Yeah! Joan Jett! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6LwOntjzrw

Non-Sequitur #28: Revolution Is Not an AOL Keyword

One of my dumb fantasies is to see a comic book adaptation of this movie drawn by Frank Cho

To paraphrase the Clash, I been drinking brew for breakfast…

The Nice Ladies at My Job Are Nicer Than the Nice Ladies at Your Job: So, my birthday was last weekend. A couple weeks ago, a co-worker suggested doing something for it and even though I told her not to, she made it clear that she’d plan something anyway. She kept asking me what kind of cake I liked. I half jokingly told her I didn’t want any cake, I’d prefer pasta! Sure enuff, this Wednesday she brought sandwiches and pasta for everyone. This is the same woman who made me pork chops last year and who periodically brings spinach dip for the office. The running joke in the office is that if she ever dumps her husband, she’s going to marry me. Another woman brought me a black birthday balloon. All we needed was either a circus motif or a bit more existentialism and it could’ve been a Fellini film…

Dreaming Is Free: So, I know I’m feeling better about things because I’m starting to have weird dreams again. When I’m depressed, I either don’t dream or I don’t remember my dreams. When I’m in a good mood, I remember the goofiest details of my dreams. Hence, Jennifer Aniston invading my sub consciousness. In the dream it’s the middle of the night and I’m trying to catch the El in Chicago. The El looks like it’s from the 40’s and in dis-repair. It’s literally about to fall apart.  Some guys I kinda half know come along and we decide to go to their apartment and chill. Jennifer is there and we all watch TV and hang out. One by one the other guys gradually leave the room and me and Jennifer get “romantic”. When they come back I think, “Hmm…these are Jen’s guy friend, I wonder if she had them set this up?” Please understand that while I think Jennifer is an attractive woman, I’m not a super-fan or anything. I don’t go to see her movies and I haven’t watched Friends in years.  Yet here she is getting her buddies to set me up with her…

AGGHH! FUGGIN’ COMPUTERS!! IT SAVED HALF MY DRAFT AND THE REST WAS EATEN UP BY CYBER SPACE! Anyway…

This was a pretty interesting story regarding ageism in advertising  http://www.cbc.ca/ageofpersuasion/episode/season-5/2011/05/28/season-five-ageism-in-advertising-1/

Secret Avengers #12.1: I know, I know…the ” Point 1″ initiative is Marvel’s marketing dept bending over the fans. But at least Nick Spencer’s a gentle lover and he brought some stimulating lube ( er, I know…disturbing metaphor, let’s move on).  I really like the cover by Mike Deodato. I kinda think it’s funny that Hank McCoy’s face is the only one that’s detailed, but I guess if it weren’t, he’d be a shadow under Steve Roger’s armpit. Readers might wonder who’s legs are behind Steve. Comics Alliance ( I think) did a snarky review calling it Capt America vs Wicki-Links, but that’s not far off. A person dressed in the old US Agent’s costume leaks government secrets in the name of justice, but the information will put the lives of many  govt double agents at risk, so Steve and the gang have to bring him down. The story does work as a stand alone issue and manages to touch on currents events in the news that I don’t think will be too dated a few years from now.

Secret Avengers #13: Wow, I’m going to miss Nick Spencer when he leaves this book. This is a very well crafted story that ties into Fear Itself . The Beast tries to save an old friend who’s holed up at the Senate while Washington DC is under attack. This story is able to combine current Marvel continuity, civil rights, superhero action, AND still work as an entertaining  stand alone story. Nice art from Scot Eaton too ( although he draws cat-Beast). Boy, do I wish more superhero comics were this good.

Batman Inc #6: I’m still having fun with this title. In this issue we get a further explanation of Bruce’s idea for the Batman Inc concept that almost makes sense. We also learn a little more about the threat that Bruce is assembling his Bat-Army to fight. Complex, yet breezy and fun,,,this title makes me wish I could be a comic book writer.

Astonishing X-Men #37: A straight forward tale about the X-men fighting a giant monster in Tokyo while Armor attends a family funeral. I mostly bought it for the Jason Pearson and Sara Pichelli art. Heavy, detailed, cartoony, and energetic all at the same time…I really enjoyed the visuals. I might hunt down the previous issues. The thing I didn’t like…this issue ends on a cliff hanger, yet the next issue starts a new story with other members of the cast and a different creative team! Wha?

A Political Song For Michael Jackson to Sing: I was listening to a radio interview with Mike Watt, bassist of the legendary punk band the Minute Men. The part that stuck in my mind was when the guys ask Mike about the jazz influence in the band’s sound. Mike says something like, “We never knew about jazz when we were kids, so when we heard it, at first we thought they were like punk guys who were old. We didn’t realize that Coltrane had died years ago and that this music was done in the 50’s.”  Check it out if yer so inclined here, I think…http://www.soundopinions.org/

Gil Scott Heron passed away. Sometimes I wonder if the revolution WAS televised, but we were all too busy to realize that it got co-opted.

Non-Sequitur #25:Brothers and Sisters, Why Are We Fighting?

Stop fighting,ladies...you're BOTH pretty!

So Spike Lee and Tyler Perry are beefing. Tyler saying Spike can go to hell because of something Spike said implicating Tyler regarding “coonery and bufoonery” in the media. http://concreteloop.com/2011/04/round-the-way-tyler-perry-tells-spike-lee-to-go-straight-to-hell-steve-harveys-intern-steals-10k-from-himI was going to get all deep and political then I thought about it…isn’t Tyler responding to something Spike said in 2009 when he was promoting Miracle at St Anna’s. And isn’t Tyler promoting his latest film now? At first you think this is a debate about race, media images, and politics, then you wonder how much this is about artists hawking their wares. Thing is, the issues they brought up ARE worth discussing. The images of race, gender, and religion that appear in the media do affect the way some people view others. It’s totally worth discussing how certain stereotypes are not only accepted, but are also commercial in today’s culture. On the other hand it’s dismaying to see two popular black directors sniping at each other about who’s good for black people. And it’s a little disheartening to see other black people thinking they need to take sides. Personally, I think Spike has made some good films ( and some not so great ones). I think Tyler is serving an audience that is not always catered to ( I need a few more slo-mo gun fights in my flicks tho). We don’t have to choose between one black voice or the other in Hollywood, there’s room for both…and many more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jp_jEryyND8

Random El Sighting: Ok, so I’m on th el and saw a French family. It was two guys and three children. The kids were goofing off and one of them actually said, “Oo-la-la”. I am not joking. Anyway, I thought they were either tourists or visiting someone in town and I was like, “What a nice French family visiting our first class international city.” I sat down next to a young black man who I assumed was from the west side. THEN he started speaking into his I-Phone in what sounded like it could have been French as well. Welcome to Chicago, mon ami.

Also, I’m always amused when the green-line el passes over the Chicago River and children are like, “Oh, look at the water!” It just makes me laugh.

X-Men Anime: I saw the first couple of episodes on You Tube and so far it’s not a bad cartoon. However, I am disappointed by how physically weak Storm is depicted. Back in the day Storm was always portrayed as one of the most powerful X-men characters. Heck, I remember back when Storm had NO POWERS and still defeated Cyclops in a duel to determine who had the right to lead the team. The Storm on this show uses her powers and faints every five minutes. Goddess…

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: This is another show I’ve been catching on You Tube. I like it a lot more than I thought I would. I have to give credit to head writer Christopher Yost. The show displays are real knowledge and reverence for Marvel comics history as well as an appreciation of modern continuity. There’s a good mix of old and new stories and characters, a nice blend of interesting personality types and the tales are exciting and dramatic. This exactly what I want from a superhero team show. I hope the live action Avengers movie does a similarly good job.

The New York Five #3: Not earth shattering, but interesting. The title continues the trials and tribulations of young female college students. The comic almost comes across as a love letter to hip New York. If I had a complaint, I’d say that it comes across maybe a little too glamorized? Sure, all the characters have problems and serious issues they have to deal with, but everyone is pretty and hip and living a lifestyle that a lot of young people dream of living. No one’s overweight. Even though the characters aren’t wealthy, class issues aren’t a major part of the story. With a bit of tweaking I could almost imagine this as a series on the CW (that’s not an insult).

Fear Itself #1: I know, I know…I complain all day long about event comics and here I am buying an event comic. My only reason/justification is that I really like Stuart Immonen’s art. The art here is gorgeous, it’s lovely, and it was worth buying for it’s own sake. The story isn’t terrible. but let’s see how that goes.